Radiotherapy for cancerAround half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.
Destroying cancer cells
There are many ways to have radiotherapy but they all work in a similar way. Carefully controlled high-energy X-rays destroy or damage cancer cells. This stops them growing or spreading.
Radiotherapy is usually delivered in daily intervals called ‘fractions’. This allows time between treatments for the healthy cells to repair and the cancer cells to die off.
Advanced radiotherapy services
At GenesisCare, we’re always pushing the boundaries of technology to develop better radiation therapy treatments. Targeting the cancer cells in tumours without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.
What is radiation therapy?
Our radiation therapy treatments:
External beam radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. Before your treatment begins, we’ll take some imaging scans to establish the precise shape, size and location of the tumour. If your treatment is after your tumour removal surgery, then we’ll take scans to examine the area where the tumour was removed.
SGRT uses sophisticated 3D camera technology to accurately target and kill cancer cells.
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) is a simple technique used to treat cancer in the breast or chest wall. It’s precisely targeted so there’s less chance of damage to the heart and lungs.
IGRT uses X-rays and scans before, and during, your treatment. It’s used to verify your position and anatomy before the treatment machine is turned on.
- The scans show the exact shape, size and location of the tumour. We can then make tiny adjustments to precisely target the treatment area
- IGRT can target cancers that move during, or between, treatment sessions. For example, lung cancers that move as you breathe. Or prostate cancer that can move depending on whether your bowel is full or empty
IMRT is a ‘conformal’ radiotherapy. This means radiation beams are shaped to surround the treatment area, so it avoids damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a type of IMRT. VMAT is very accurate and maximises radiation to the tumour. The surrounding healthy tissue receives a much lower dose, reducing the risk of side-effects.
- VMAT delivers a continuous beam of radiation therapy in an arc that moves around the tumour. It automatically changes the beam shape and radiation dose as it moves
- Treatment sessions with VMAT are usually short – around 10 minutes
- VMAT can be used when the tumour is close to critical organs. It helps them avoid being damaged by radiation
SABR targets tumours in the body with high doses of radiation therapy. It destroys cancer cells with minimum damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
Tomotherapy is a type of IMRT. It combines the technologies of a CT scanner (providing 3D images) and an IMRT machine to accurately target a tumour.
- Creating a 3D image of the tumour means we can target the beams precisely. We adjust the treatment to the size, shape and location of the treatment area
- The tumour is given a very high dose of radiation. The healthy surrounding tissue gets a much lower dose, reducing the risk of side-effects
MR linac technology combines high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning techniques with extremely powerful radiotherapy beams to treat tumours more accurately and quicker than conventional radiotherapy. This type of radiotherapy is called magnetic resonance image guided radiotherapy (MRIgRT).
Radiotherapy is a common cancer treatment in the United Kingdom.
Skin changes and inflamation
Swelling and build up of fluids
Stress, anxiety and other coping issues are also common
Search for a centre near you
Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ
+44 (0)208 236 9040
The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX
+44 (0)115 966 2250